Plan Zero: how we’re walking the talk

22 December 2021 | OVO Energy

Read about our bold sustainability strategy, Plan Zero, and how it’s helping us guide our members on the journey to zero carbon.

If you’re wondering why we’re so big on carbon and the “journey to zero carbon”, wonder no more – the answer is quite simple and it’s called Plan Zero.

Plan Zero was launched in September 2019 as our direct response to the climate crisis. It sets out how we’ll use our energy for good over the next 10 years.

We know that zero carbon is only possible if everyone pulls together, so Plan Zero aims to unite our team and members behind a single goal of kicking carbon. Hopefully it’ll inspire other businesses to play their part, too! In fact, Plan Zero is behind everything we do.

It’s split up into 6 big commitments, with detail around how we’ll achieve each of them. Here are the highlights…

We’re committed to being a net zero carbon business by 2030. That’s 20 years earlier than the government’s 2050 goal

From electrifying our vans, to supplying our buildings with 100% renewable electricity1 – and so much more. We’re transforming our operations and supply chain with the aim of reaching net zero by 2030.

We’re helping our members halve their carbon footprint

The eagle-eyed will see that our products really champion this goal – like our free energy-saving tool OVO Greenlight2 . 75% of OVO members say it’s helped them cut their carbon footprint, and energy bills!3  

Meanwhile, our green upgrade OVO Beyond offers carbon-neutral energy4 and 5 extra trees planted in your name every year5 . And, our EV plan OVO Drive + Anytime brings drivers ultra-low rates to charge their electric cars a greener way. 

We’re aiming to kit out 5 million homes with flexible, low carbon tech like smart EV chargers and heat pumps. 

This genius tech will help build a more flexible national energy grid, which will one day run solely on renewables. A key part of reaching net zero carbon! 

Over the last 10 years, we’ve been passionate about building a business that’s better for people and the planet. Now, we’re incredibly proud to see our vision for a greener future written down on paper – and we can’t wait to make it happen! 

Here’s what our CEO and founder, Stephen Fitzpatrick, has to say about Plan Zero:

“It’s clear we all have to work towards a world beyond carbon. It’s clear that government and business need to lead the way and take bold action or risk losing the trust of the people they serve. Plan Zero sets out how OVO will play its part.”

“Starting now, we’re going to be measuring ourselves not by how much energy we sell but by how much we move the dial on carbon. We’re mobilising all our members to form a zero-carbon community and bringing them the tools and services they need to help them eliminate the carbon emissions from their homes.”

And all this? Well, it’s only half the story. Plan Zero also includes big goals around making us one of the UK’s most trusted brands – and becoming the ultimate place to work for anyone who wants to change the world. Want to read Plan Zero in full? Head here.

Sources and references

1 The renewable electricity we sell is backed by renewable certificates (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGOs)). See here for details on Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates and how these work. A proportion of the electricity we sell is also purchased directly from renewable generators in the UK.

2 OVO's 2019 analysis of academic research into the effectiveness of feedback on energy consumption behaviours indicates that being able to monitor your energy usage by installing a smart meter and having access to energy insights information can lead to a reduction in energy use. The reduction in energy use results from the customer making changes to their habits by curtailing home energy use through actions such as optimising heating settings or switching lights off. The actual savings achieved will vary depending on individual energy use and the nature of changes made to a customer's energy habits.

3 Based on a survey of 196 OVO members using OVO Greenlight during May 2021.

4 By providing 100% carbon-neutral gas (15% green gas and 85% offset) and offsetting all associated lifecycle carbon emissions involved in the production and consumption of your electricity & gas, OVO Beyond reduces your yearly carbon emissions from the energy used in your home that's supplied by OVO to net zero. The renewable electricity we sell is backed by renewable certificates (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGOs)). See here for details on Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates and how these work. The green gas we sell is backed via renewable certificates (Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin (RGGOs)). See here for details on Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin and how these work. We offset the remaining emissions by supporting UN REDD+ carbon reduction projects that are certified to the Verified Carbon Standard or the Gold Standard.

5 OVO plants 5 trees for every OVO Beyond member through our award-winning I Dig Trees programme with The Conservation Volunteers. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so tree-planting helps to slow down climate change. Since 2015 we have planted over 2 million trees.